A Letter to Teenagers

A Letter to Teenagers

My dear teenager,

I remember the teenage years. Some of the details are fuzzy, but the emotions are still very clear.

You are at an amazing point in your life. Amazing, but at the same time, uncertain and stressful and scary. You’re not quite grown up yet, but you’re facing adult situations—career decisions, relationships, peer pressure, and more.

So. Much. More.

I drove my daughter and her friend to school this morning. When we got there, I couldn’t decide if I should let them out of the car or bring them back home with me.

Ambulances, police, fire engines, and a LifeFlight helicopter.

A child tried to end his life in the school stairway.

As a mother, my heart aches, cries, grieves.

I grieve for the mother and father. I can only imagine the shock, the fear, and the sorrow you are going through. My prayers are for your healing and for his, for your strength in the coming days, weeks, and months,  and for God’s peace that surpasses all understanding.

I grieve for his fellow students. Some of you wonder – why didn’t I see this coming? Don’t be hard on yourself, but do be there for this boy when he comes home. He’ll need your love and acceptance.

I grieve for the child who was in so much pain he could see no other way out.

The pain of growing up is real. Physical even. Anxiety and heartache can make your head, your heart, your chest, and your stomach hurt. You’re too young for a heart attack, but your pain can sometimes feel like one.

Breathe.

Breathe in and breath out.

And know that you are not alone.

This truly is a broken world, but that doesn’t mean that life is hopeless. We can pick up each other’s pieces. We can put them back together. We can make our corner of the world kinder and wiser and stronger.

Friends … be kind. Please don’t gossip. Don’t taunt or bully or belittle.

Parents … hug your children—even if they roll their eyes. Especially if they roll their eyes. Drop everything and listen when they want to talk to you. Be their biggest cheerleader. Love them unconditionally.

Teenagers … hug your parents. (Moms and dads need hugs too.) Talk to them. If they’re having their own difficulties and can’t be there for you, talk to someone else. Grandparents, friend’s parents, friend, teacher, pastor, God. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, even when you’re certain you are. And trust me. TRUST ME. There is nothing in this world that is worth leaving it before God says it’s time.

He has plans for you. Things for you to do. People for you to meet. Hands for you to hold. Things for you to see. He has sunrises and sunsets, the breeze in your hair, the sun on your back, the warmth of the earth, His grace and His love and His peace. He made you. He loves you. He has a purpose for you.

Don’t give up.

Hugs and much love … Kim

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